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Gang shootout at Rotorua market

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/04/2017

Warring Rotorua gangs have fired shots at a market teeming with shoppers, police say.

Officers were called to the central city's Kuirau Park markets on Saturday morning after reports shots had been fired between rival gangs.

"This happened near a children's playground in the middle of the Saturday morning market, while the area was teeming with shoppers," Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson said in a statement on Sunday.

Police found a car with bullet or shotgun damage and later a 27-year-old man was arrested.

He has been charged with firearms and disorder offences and will appear in Rotorua District Court on Monday.

Police are appalled such an incident could happen with innocent bystanders nearby.

"It is only through sheer luck that no one was hurt, and police are determined to identify all those involved and hold them to account for their actions," Det Snr Sgt Wilson said.

Police were appealing for any witnesses, or anyone who took mobile phone footage of the event, to contact them.

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